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Ireland 2016: Centenary Programme

Ireland 2016

How will we mark the centenary of the Easter Rising?

Ireland 2016 first and foremost marks the centenary of the Easter Rising in 1916, a seminal moment on Ireland’s journey to independence. It is also a once-in-a-century invitation to people of all ages, in Ireland and overseas, to shape and actively engage in a diverse range of historical, cultural and artistic activities designed to facilitate reflection, commemoration, debate and analysis and an active re-imagining of our future.

It has seven programme strands:

  • State Ceremonial
  • Historical reflection
  • ‘An Teanga Bheo: The Living Language’
  • Youth and Imagination
  • Cultural Expression 
  • Community participation
  • Global and diaspora programme

The Global and Diaspora programme

Our Embassies and Consulates are engaging with the Irish Diaspora and local communities across the world to ensure global participation in commemorations and celebrations to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. Some of the international projects developed to date are as follows:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., in partnership with the Embassy of Ire¬land, will host a three-week festival of Irish arts and culture entitled ‘Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture’ from 16 May to 5 June 2016.

  • A concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers will take place at the renowned London venue, the Wigmore Hall, in April 2016. Led by the Wigmore Hall’s Irish Director, John Gilhooly, this major concert will showcase the Irish contribution to classical music as part of the 2016 commemorations.
  • Glucksman Ireland House at New York University (NYU) will present a series of public events commencing in autumn 2015 focusing on music, film, poetry, and prose. This series will culminate in a major academic conference from 21 to 23 April 2016, which will explore the relationship between America and 1916, and will involve over twenty academic speakers from Ireland and across the United States.
  • From March to July 2016, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires will hold schools’ essay and art competitions, which will encourage participants to reflect on themes that include the Easter Rising and Irish-Argentine relations. A schools’ ‘Gaelic Football Blitz’ will also take place.
  • The Irish Embassy in Dubai, in partnership with the Danú theatre group, will host a series of cultural events to mark the 1916 Rising at The Madinat Theatre, in Dubai, on 22-23 April 2016. The programme will consist of a Seán O' Casey play along with Irish dancing, traditional Irish music and singing centred on the poetry and last letters of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.
  • Glór na nGael and our Consulate General in Boston will hold a conference from in June 2016 bringing together Irish language groups from across the US
  • In Sydney, a series of performances of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars will take place during the 2016 annual St Patrick’s Day Festival.
  • Next year’s Paris International Beckett Festival will run for the entire month of March 2016 and will include a focus on the 1916 Rising.
  • A range of commemorative events are planned for Rome, Berlin and other European cities including film screenings, writers’ events and theatre performances.

Please take a look at the most up-to-date list of of events currently being planned as part of the Global and Diaspora for more details.

The University of Notre Dame projects

The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame is commissioning a three-part television documentary on the Rising, along with a 70-minute feature film, offering an academically supported analysis of the impact of 1916 in Ireland and also around the world.

On 3 March, the gala premiere screening of this documentary, narrated by Liam Neeson, will take place in the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, with additional screenings planned in Chicago and Atlanta.  The film, will tell the story of the events and consequences of Easter 1916 to an international audience. Later in the month, the Dublin launch of the documentary will be live screened to a number of locations around the world. 

The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies is also planning to hold an academic panel in Boston examining the impact of the Irish Diaspora on America and on 1916.

A series of international academic events called Reframing 1916 is also being developed in conjunction with a number of host universities in different locations around the world, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Argentina, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. The series will bring together Notre Dame faculty, students and other interested parties in lectures, panels and screenings of the doc­umentary. These events will be linked to Irish Embassies and Consulates around the world thus ensuring the highest possible level of exposure and attendance. 

Find out more

Full details of Ireland 2016, including the Global and Diaspora programme, are available at

You can also visit the website of your local Embassy or Consulate or, for the United States, please visit the Embassy’s dedicated webpage on commemorations